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ATLAS delegates told of a commercially viable separating wall system that meets fire, acoustic and security requirements

In an address as main sponsor at our ATLAS 2019 National Training Event, British Gypsum’s Systems Lead: Division of Space, Paul French, highlighted the benefits of their Secured by Design (SBD) accredited robust separating wall system – only to invite Designing Out Crime Officers to try and break it!

Paul said their GypWall QUIET system, which incorporates Gyproc Habito plasterboard, meets fire, acoustic and security standards to offer a one-stop-shop partition walling system for developers and the construction industry.

British Gypsum set out to address the three main issues developers face when it comes to separating wall systems available on the market. These are: lack of test evidence ‘to prove it does exactly what it says on the tin’; to overcome the complexities of installation involving a number of different components; and to avoid the cutting and handling risks of components such as metal and mesh, which can become sharp and dangerous when cut or moved around a building site.

On security, the GypWall QUIET system has been tested and certified to the physically demanding STS 202 BR1 attack standard by an independent, third-party UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited certification body.

It is the first lightweight partition wall system available on the market that not only fulfils SBD attack requirements but also meets the fire and acoustic regulations – an ideal product for separating walls in multi-occupancy, residential apartment blocks.

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Paul told ATLAS 2019: “All of our solutions have been symmetrically designed. This means whichever solution you specify, you can be confident that it will provide the same high level of security from any direction. Symmetry within the system is critical to scenarios where attack direction is unknown – for example, between two apartments."

The GypWall QUIET system has been accredited by SBD. In addition, British Gypsum and SBD worked together to develop an SBD backed GypWall QUIET system Approved Installer Course, which is designed to familiarise sub-contractors with the system and the performance it delivers as well as ensuring they are up to speed with the correct installation method. The course helps ensure the system performs as intended after install.

At ATLAS Paul presented a number of video clips highlighting a six-storey residential development in Erith, Kent, where the GypWall QUIET system has been installed throughout.

The videos provided commentary about the importance of easy installation with less materials; getting the detailing right every time; providing reliable and secure fixings for items like radiators, TV’s and cupboards without the need for pattressing; and making customers feel safe in their new homes – ‘providing the level of security and assurance that they require’.

Paul told the audience that the development had shown their walling system to be commercially viable – by providing protection for the lifetime of the building with their system SpecSure warranty and avoiding unnecessary costs due to a lower number of components installed.

"They have been able to see savings in total install costs because of the removal of the extra components and the associated costs of installing things like mesh that would have been used previously,” explained Paul.

GypWall QUIET systems achieve 90 and 120 minutes fire resistance compared to the 60 minute fire resistance required by the Building Regulations for a wall between two apartments. All their systems achieve the requirements for acoustic performance with two of their solutions providing additional performance, such as for BREEAM schemes.

Paul concluded by challenging members of the audience to visit the British Gypsum stand where a demonstration area had been set up to test the robustness of the system using tools typically used in testing for the STS 202 BR1 standard. “I am sure you are fully aware of the credentials and requirements of the BR1 standard. We have made the tools available and here is your chance to have a go if you are feeling energetic enough!”